Mispronunciations

We cannot tell anyone where we are going,
but they all know we are lost.

We walk from the mountain to a café
to another café talking about
what foundations are best to build on.

We make guesses. Respect, money.
It would have to be something unlike bricks
that can evolve with the structure it creates.

Love. No, not love. Anything but love.
We know we are more or less talking about affection.

We stay nights on Duluth and enjoy
pushing the sounds through our slack-jawed mouths:
Rue Saint-Denis, Boul Saint-Laurent. Oui.

When you want to make me smile
you wink with both eyes,

which I think you might have learned from me,
which I think I learned from my grandmother of all people.

I notice the night has fallen; you tell me
how pretty it is. I notice

my relationship with my brother is deteriorating;
you tell me how it is not necessarily

a sad thing. Or if it is a sad thing,
a necessary thing, and not uniquely sad.

What’s French for fear? What for desire?
I bet they have beautiful ways to say that here.

The children born in this city, who knows where they run to.